William Shakespeare - The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

William Shakespeare based the plot of The Comedy of Errors, a farce performed in 1594, on classical comedies by Plautus. It was published for the first time in the First Folio of 1623. The play, Shakespeare’s shortest, depends for its appeal on the mistaken identities of two sets of twins both separated in their youth. The comedy ends happily with the reunion of both sets of twins, after a bewildering series of confusions. Shakespeare makes his play more complex than Plautus’s by the addition of the second set of twins, twin servants to the twin brothers of the main action, and the play displays the young Shakespeare’s formal mastery of the comic form and anticipates themes and techniques of his later plays.